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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 220
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Science Fiction

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery 
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
     Mirror, mirror on the wall,Who is the fairest of them all?
     Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 
     Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series. 

Getting to know the inner workings of the villain is one of my favorite aspects about books. And getting into Levana's mind before and after she ascends to the throne swept me away. Aspiring be the fairest in all of Luna, we watch Levana fall under the affects of her own glamour, brainwash not just those around her, but ironically brainwashing herself.

Villain retellings really speak volumes in understanding how the bag guy/gal is really the protagonist of their own world. And Fairest exposes a side of Levana that fans of the series have never seen before. While some readers may sympathize towards this fallen character of Queen Levana, garner a great understanding of the world on Luna and the relationship between Levana and her appalling sister, Channery, it goes without saying that Levana is both a terror and a victim of her own crimes. We see how her self-esteem and self-image are destroyed, the reasons behind the scars she wears and despises, and her attempts at trying to find love in all the wrong ways. Sympathetic at times, revolted in others, Fairest breathes depth and illuminates the reasons behind Levana's tyranny as queen of Luna.

This novella comes to be a character study, and one that really sets the foundation not only to Levana's destructive character, but to the series that readers know and love. It delves into understanding the depth of a villain, seeing the creation of the Evil Queen, and how the plot points of the entire novel are put into place before the start of Cinder. Readers piece together the relationship between Levana and Cinder, the virus sent to Earth, the creation of the wolf warriors, and finally begin to understand the reasoning behind Levana's craze on Luna. I know that I had screamed one too many times at Levana to redeem herself throughout my read, and it was possible to see her as a redemptive character and Queen to her people, but all she had sacrificed to get where she is and feel the way she does about herself makes her a truly tragic villain.

Fans of the Lunar Chronicle must pick up this novel to see what really lurks behind the mask that Levana wears. For readers who have yet to read up to book 3 or even begin the series, I would say hold off on Fairest until you are caught up to Cress. Anyone who has read up to book 3 or even finished the series, I recommend picking up this novel and gaining a greater understanding for the menace that has been rampaging all over the Lunar Chronicles. I absolutely adored this character study, and I know Lunar Chronicle fans will, too.

Five targets slayed for villain backstories.